Store aesthetic, fashion trends influence local boutiques’ offerings

 Store aesthetic, fashion trends influence local boutiques’ offerings


Champaign-Urbana is home not only to the University, but also to many boutiques offering niche clothes not typically found in malls and chain stores. For the three local boutiques, the choice of which clothes to sell depends on the beauty of the store, fashion and what is available in the clothing markets.

bluebird boutique

Angie Armstrong is the owner of the bluebird boutique. She said she picks up clothes for her boutique in the wholesale markets. To shop in these markets, buyers must be registered as wholesale buyers. These markets are located in many large cities and usually have many different vendors. Armstrong usually buys clothes at the Chicago market.

“It’s a thousand square feet full of vendors,” he said. “And all the vendors are setting up for the show, and it’s a show we’re going to and it’s going to last for days. I can walk all three days and not see the same vendor. And I walk around and try. I’m looking for things I feel like selling in my store.

Armstrong said there are different areas for different clothing items in these markets.

“There we also learned (about) new vendors and we met new vendors who wanted to get their stuff there,” he said. “So we sit down and talk to them, they show us their product, and if we feel like it’s something to sell in our store, then we buy a package. Everything is in packages. ”

Armstrong explained that in these markets, buyers can’t buy one thing – like a shirt – but have to buy multiple shirts. He says he always remembers what his customers want and what he wants when he goes to the markets.

“It’s a guessing game,” Armstrong said. “I usually shop for things I like, and then there are customers who regularly know what their style is, and so I think about them when I shop too.”

For example, Armstrong says a lot of his customers like graphic tees, so he’ll keep that in mind when looking for things.

Armstrong said he tries to follow trends when looking for clothes for his boutiques. However, instead of following specific aesthetics, she tries to find clothes that she thinks will sell.

She said when looking for something – like shackets, known as lightweight shirts – for her boutique, she would try to think about finding specific colors. Since the bluebird boutique is close to campus, she can find a shacket in orange and blue. When a holiday like Christmas is approaching, she will look for shackets with red and green on them and display the shacket with a graphic tee.

Armstrong said he uses social media and the clothing market to stay informed of trends. She gets her inspiration for the boutique in many different ways based on what she thinks is best for the store.

“I’ve always loved fashion and have always been a fashion-forward person in my style,” Armstrong said. “I look at magazines, I look online, the sellers I buy from, most of them are always emailing me, or they want to show me something or they have a Zoom meeting, so I always send things to me via email with new styles, with new things coming out. ”

Bohemia Boutique

Milea Hayes is the owner of Bohemia Boutique. Like Armstrong, Hayes often goes to Chicago markets to find clothes for his boutique. He knows some sales representatives, so he can go to their shows or order from them online.

Hayes said she goes to these markets with a specific style in mind when looking for clothes for her boutique. Even if he goes to the markets with an idea of ​​what he wants, he says he can also find new ideas there and then choose what he wants.

Although Bohemia Boutique follows a bohemian aesthetic, Hayes said she also tries to incorporate other clothing styles that she likes. She said the bohemian style was inspired by ’60s and’ 70s California fashion, and the dress was inspired by vintage.

“We have wide pants, we have flowing clothing, brighter colors, bold patterns, nothing that needs fashion. No labels,” Hayes said.

Some examples of bohemian style are comfortable dresses, flowing dresses and bell-sleeve shirts.

Hayes said she found her inspiration for her boutique in the clothing markets. She also tries to find things made in the US She considers the type of material and fabrics when looking for clothes.

“Let’s look at the fabric, like what the patterns are,” Hayes said. “I love any cotton. We have a lot of clothes mixed with rayon, a lot of linen, more natural fibers. ”

Checkered Moon Boutique

Paula Charter is the manager and buyer of Checkered Moon Boutique. She said she goes to different markets a few times a year when looking for clothes for the boutique, usually the Chicago and Atlanta markets. Also, sometimes representatives will carry Checkered Moon clothing or jewelry lines to display the Charter.

Like Bohemia, he says he finds trends by paying attention to the market. Charter said the boutique will buy items based on the fashion and color of the season. The boutique also considers its customers.

“We already know our customer, and we usually buy what our customer asks for, or we have a history and we know what to mosaler and what not,” Charter said. “But we also buy according to trends and what the market shows.”

The boutique offers items such as maxi dresses, jean jackets and tops.

Charter says Checkered Moon tries to have things that tell a story.

“When I tell a story, I mean (that) when we buy things, we don’t just buy a few different things,” Charter said. “We make sure there’s a story that can be presented in the store, whether it’s a color scheme, or that all the items complement each other in one form or another. We’re careful about that.”

Charter says the overall look of Checkered Moon is in fashion. However, there is no one specific look.

“We do a lot of European styles, if I say I specifically mean something like Denmark and Norway,” Charter said. “We have particular designers out there, so their looks are a bit more European, but we also have a lot of designers from the US, and we probably serve customers anywhere from (age) 16 to 85, so there’s a huge market there. For every look we present. “

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